Fisher Hosts Professional Development Day for Charter School Leaders
On Monday, March 19, teams from Rochester’s charter schools came together for a professional development day, thanks to the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. School of Education’s Executive Leadership Program and its Charter School Leadership Forums program.
The day was the culminating event in a collaboration with charter school leaders and Dr. George Batsche, professor and co-director of the Institute for School Reform at the University of South Florida, to further their understanding of Multi-tiered Systems of Support (MTSS). MTSS is an educational framework that focuses on response to intervention and positive behavioral intervention, among other approaches.
“The topic of MTSS is an area that charter leaders identified and wanted to explore more deeply,” said Dr. Marie Cianca, an associate professor in the program. “This opportunity supported charter teams and gave them time to plan effectively for their students’ instructional and behavioral strengths and challenges.”
Batsche, an expert on MTSS, is also co-director of the Florida Statewide Problem-Solving/Response to Intervention Project for the Florida Department of Education. He works with traditional public schools and charter schools from across the country.
Before visiting Rochester in March, Batsche provided a series of supports for the local charter school teams. He surveyed the charter teams to determine how they were assessing students and examining their data. He then conducted a webinar for workshop participants to ensure that they had foundational information on response to intervention, and the components of multi-tiered systems of support, including problem-solving.
Finally, Batsche presented to the 12 school teams here at Fisher to share strategies for working with students.
“I most appreciated the knowledge of Dr. Batsche and the meaningful delivery of information,” noted one participant.
Another agreed. “Dr. Batsche provided relevant information for improving practice using data and shared sources for further investigation,” the participant wrote. “He aligned the presentation with what we have to do and did not lower expectations for our students.”
Continuation funds from a grant provided by the Max and Marian Farash Foundation allowed Fisher to offer the MTSS session for charter school teams. The Farash Foundation grant helps provide regular professional development sessions and coaching for charter schools based on their needs and interests. In addition to the March workshop, professional development sessions were convened in September, October, and January. Five charter schools have also been able to take advantage of opportunities for coaching through the grant.